Greetings from CLTC 7
Posted on 07/27/2011 @ 02:53 PM
Greetings from Beber Camp! My name is Emily McCready, and I am proud to serve as the BBG Coordinator for CLTC 7, 2011. Together with my AZA co, Josh Meliker, I have had the pleasure of beginning to get to know each of our incredibly enthusiastic participants.
Today, we were lucky to see teens from all over the country arrive at the airport with huge smiles and open minds. Participants took advantage of the opportunity to begin making friends through games of UNO, arranging plans for lunch, and of course, realizing connections through many questions of Jewish geography.
After a few hours of airport and bus relaxation time, we finally set out on a short bus ride to Beber camp. Teens found their rooms, met their roommates, and began to settle in. Tours and orientations helped the participants begin to find their way and set the standard for this session.
Teens then experienced their first leadership session, a lesson on starting a new chapter. Sessions were orchestrated by our leadership staff (predominately regional or council directors) and participants were broken into their “mock chapters” for the first time.
We ended the night with a song lyric competition and a group friendship circle, where we were overjoyed to see connections forming between the teens. Can’t wait to see what our first full day will bring!
Message from Lindsey Rubin (NRE-NoVA) - CLTC 6
Posted on 07/26/2011 @ 04:40 PM
For months my chapter told me "CLTC will be the best 12 days of your life"and I honestly didn't believe them. Today is day 7 and none of their comments were exaggerated. I have made friends form Canada, California, Michigan and everywhere in between, meeting some of the most amazing people ever! I remember walking through the airport last Tuesday and it feels like it's been weeks instead of barely seven days. All of the programing has been phenomenal but my favorite was Stand-Up which we had a few days ago. Stand-Up gave everyone in my chapter the opportunity to express what causes matter to them and many of us found common ground. We realized we all felt strongly about a few causes that had personally touched our own lives whether through friends or family. On the first day we took a tour of Bethany and everyone one was complaining about the massive hills but every day the walk doesn't seem as bad as the day before (not that I recommend it). Shira (singing/song session) is my favorite part of every day. While I am enjoying the opportunity to learn so much about BBYO and myself, the connection you can feel when we all sing together is amazing. Personally I believe whenever you put almost 100 people together singing the same song the meaning goes even deeper. After how amazing the first 7 days have been I know the next 5 ( I can't believe there's only 5 left) will be even more amazing. With undying love for Shirat Devorah BBG #216, Lahat BBG #0339, Nemo, CLTC 6, Song Sessions everyday and fabulous fresh baked cookies, I forever remain, Lindsey Rubin
Israel Seminar Blog
Posted on 07/26/2011 @ 11:17 AM
At 8am ten groggy PDIers boarded our bus in Haifa and set off on our journey to the Galilee, namely Zippori. A hot, abusive sun and heated conversations lay ahead as our bus wound its way up the mountains. Today we explored the tension and interplay between our religion, other religions, other cultures and other time periods; we looked at what happens when conflicting narratives come together.
As we got off the bus, we were greeted by Amin, a 76 year old Arab Muslim who was born in the village of Saffuriyeh (in Zippori), was expelled from his village in 1948, watched as the Israeli army destroyed it, and has not been allowed to move back to that area since. Amin was nothing if not opinionated. While his story is clearly a sad one, some of his other opinions proved to be less than palatable to some of the PDIers (for example when he said there cannot be peace with Zionists—Amin drew a distinction between Jews and Zionists, although his definitions were hazy at best). Needless to say, this encounter was interesting and incited some heavy and heated conversation both with him and among our cohort. Amin’s struggle is definitely real but what are Israel’s responsibilities to him? After all, he is a citizen of the country, enjoys freedom, and lives not too far from his original village. It is also important to remember that there are many sides to the stories we hear.
After boarding the bus and continuing our dialogue with each other, we drove several minutes to the Zippori National Park. Here, greeted by olive, carob, and pomegranate trees, we enjoyed an amazing view overlooking this historic area of Israel. As our day and discussion continued, we discussed how in this area in particular, where the Mishnah was written, there was so much interplay between the Roman culture and the Jews. What did the Jews gain from the Roman culture? What did they adopt (besides the obvious—ornate mosaic floor of the Zippori ancient synagogue depicting the Zodiac)? We studied some Mishnah texts to frame our conversation and toured around, seeing the theatre, an amazingly ornate mosaic, and the Zippori synagogue.
On our last stop, we enjoyed a delicious lunch, a dip in the pool, and more conversation at Roberta’s house (Roberta is one of our wonderful educators) in “Modern Zippori.” Here, we were able to reflect on what it means for the Jews to live in such close proximity with the Muslim and Christian Arabs, what responsibilities the State of Israel has to them, what security and social issues are at play, and what are the greater social implications of all of this in Israeli society.
Back at the hotel, we were able to come together for a final class where we studied more Mishnah. This class refreshed the themes of the day and reframed the conversation that we are continuing to have. We ended the day with a free evening where most of us enjoyed some Kosher Chinese food, and were able to see a student rally for lowering rent.
The trip thus far has been an incredibly humbling experience for all of us. I think I speak for everyone when I say that the conversations that we have been having, the people we have been meeting, and the places we have been seeing, have proven to us that the picture is much more complex than any of us had previously imagined. We are all learning, struggling, creating opinions, and becoming better Jews and educators.
Message from Bradley Deren (SJR) - CLTC 6
Posted on 07/25/2011 @ 04:40 PM
So a few months ago i heard about a program called CLTC. I didn't really know what it was but all of my friends convinced me to sign up for it. Since the moment I got here I have learned so much. I never thought I could learn so much in so little time. CLTC 6 has been one of the best experiences of my life. The friends I have made and the stories I have heard have changed me forever and I recommend every person in BBYO signing up for it.
Thank you for a great 2 weeks!
Posted on 07/25/2011 @ 03:59 PM
It is hard to believe that the two weeks are already over and Impact: DC 2011 has come to an end. We had such a wonderful group of teens and it was clear that everyone learned a lot and had a ton of fun.
Thanks for a memorable two weeks!
Natalie Sukienik, Program Director